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Cyber Monday / Black Friday Report 2010

Coremetrics, an IBM company, just released its benchmark cyber monday / black friday report for 2010. For those of you who don't work in retail, online or in a brick-n-mortar storefront, cyber monday refers to the first Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, and Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, supposedly among the busiest online and offline shopping days of the year as many retailers try to capture their 80% of annual revenues before the end of the year.

Here are some of the stats from the report:

Cyber Monday 2010 vs Cyber Monday 2009 (year/year): 

Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up 19.4 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value (AOV) up from $180.03 to $194.89 for an increase of 8.3 percent.


Luxury Goods Report Big Gains: Affluent shoppers opened their wallets wide, driving sales of luxury goods up 24.3 percent over 2009.


Shopping Peaks at 9:00 am PST/Noon EST: Consumers flocked online, with shopping momentum hitting its peak at 9:00 am PST/noon EST. But consumer shopping maintained stronger momentum throughout the day than on Cyber Monday 2009.


Cyber Monday 2010
Items Per Order
Avg Order
Cart Abandonment
New Visitor Conv. Rate
US Retail
6.41
$194.89
63.68%
4.41%
Apparel
2.36
$128.13
65.32%
3.20%
Dept Stores
3.03
$117.49
76.98%
2.90%
Health & Beauty
4.20
$68.30
59.74%
5.94%
Jewelry
1.57
$384.25
67.73%
1.02%
Sport Apparel & Gear
3.02
$120.60
72.78%
2.19%

How people shop shows more than a willingness to do business online; it also shows the level of comfort that users have with transferring financial data over an unsecured, wireless network. Two notable trends of holiday season 2010 are:

Social Shopping: The growing trend of consumers using their networks on social sites for information about deals and inventory levels continued on Cyber Monday. While the percentage of visitors arriving from social network sites is fairly small relative to all online visitors—nearly 1 percent—it is gaining momentum, with Facebook dominating the space.

Mobile Shopping: Consumers continue to use mobile as a shopping tool. On Cyber Monday, 3.9 percent of people visited a retailer’s site using a mobile device.

Afterthoughts:

I thought that there would be a bigger difference in YOY stats among all the retail channels--mobile, web, in-store, etc., but there weren't. 2010 did slightly better than 2009 and on average, the segments performed about the same as the prior year.


Health and Beauty segment performed the best overall with the highest new visitor conversion rate (5.94%) and the lowest cart abandonment rate (59.74%). The Jewelry segment had the highest average order ($384.25) with the fewest number of items per order (1.57). Department stores are still lagging behind all other segments with the highest cart abandonment (76.98%), though this could be due to any number of reasons (poor user interface, unsecured web forms, price not right, timing not right for the consumer, the deal just wasn't sweet enough, first time customer unwilling to trust retailer with financial information, etc.). 

What isn't covered in the report is the methodology used and the companies used to generate these stats.

Bounce rate is relatively low for the US retail market which means that via web/email/mobile, relevant messaging was used to entice a consumer to a point-of-sale action. Higher bounce rate typically indicates blogs (doesn't take much time for people to skim through text), irrelevant search keyword hits, or the wrong offer was used with an attractive call-to-action from an email or mobile message.

eCommerce can be more profitable than other sales or partner retail channels, especially if your website is managed in-house. Profit margin tends to be higher, operating costs are presumably lower, and if it is a well-oiled machine, you don't pay your website double time to work through the holidays.

Also, the more shopping that's done on cyber monday, the less they are doing actual work at work.

Read the report
Coremetrics' executive summary
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